Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Good news & funny facts

First of all the good news.
As I mentioned in an earlier blogpost, someone is lending us a hand by doing music for the game.

We want to officially thank 'Illustrious' for helping us out on this matter.
The music he does is pretty great, so you can look forward to having a great BGM in the demo.
(which will be available soon, I hope, well, we are just waiting for 2 more BGMs, so please be patient)

And now lets get to the funny facts.
Today I ran into Paperheads CG Gallery on e-hentai.org.
When I looked at the tags I had to laugh, and I was barely able to pull myself together when I read the comments xD
(don't get me wrong, I'm not making fun of anyone, I'm simply amused and I can totaly understand how this whole matter came up)

The reason why I'm laughing are the tags:
- devil may cry
- final fantasy 7
- gender bender
- cloud (from FF7)

You can see for yourselves (as long as it's not fixed, that is):

(you can find the Paperheads CG gallery on this blog as well, if I'm not mistaken one CG is missing on the e-hentai link posted above)

Since in the comments people wondered, if Paperheads has actually anything to do with those games and characters mentioned, I thought it would be good to bring some clarification into this matter.
(it's not important to do that, but why not?)
Though I would have prefered it, if people just have asked me directly.
I'm always willing to give out answers, and I like discussing such matters and hearing different opinions.

The short version is:

Nope, it's not gender bender (not gender swap either), and the characters have NOTHING to do with the games mentioned above.
They are not even inspired by the mentioned games or characters.
But as I know all the mentioned characters and games, I see the similarity.
(and that's why I have to laugh xD)

The detailed story is:

All characters have been created by myself or by Crescentia.
And originally their character designs are way off, from what they appear in Paperheads.
(keep in mind, that Paperheads is a "spin-off" of our original characters)

Lets start with the guys first:

(I'm not going to post their character designs now because I don't know where I saved them on my notebook, but you can find at least Chao's design on this blog in some older blogpost)

Chao might look like Reno from FF7, but as some of you might recall, he "originally" had some completely different clothes etc.
He's designed so he looks like an ancient chinese warrior or something like that.
Having a pact with one of the "gods" of the Wolfenstahl-Universe (lets call it that way for now),
he has some special abilities, one of them being reborn when he dies.
(well nothing spectacular)

Ledun on the other hand is "originally" a rogue, and on top of that, a werewolf too.
(well, not in Paperheads, he's a regular human there)
His original design was inspired by the Stalker-Class from the game "Ragnarok Online".
(but in the end he doesn't look like that at all)
Having white hair + red clothes does resemble Dante, but I don't see any other similarities.
Btw. the scar on his face is an injury he got from an werewolf... back then, when he wasn't a werewolf himself.

I forgot to mention, that Leduns clothing is inspired by "Rock Howard" from Fatal Fury (Garou - Mark of the Wolves).
[Edit end]

Those two had been created by Crescentia, though I roughly sketched Ledun some years ago.

And now, lets get to the more important and more interesting part, the girls:

In the original story, Sheyla, Neamera and Verdani are all part of the same team,
they are more or less friends, but they tend to argue with each other.
But not in Paperheads (it's a spin-off), here at least Verdani and Neamera have no friendship or whatsoever.
While Sheyla doesn't have any major appearance in the game, the other two have.
(to be honest, I'm sometimes "dreaming" about making some kind of remake... with all 3 of them as playable characters... but... this would need a really huge budget... so it's not possible for now)

I designed all three of them about 8 years ago.
(back then, my drawing abilities were starting to develop)

Well, of course I looked at other characters to get inspired, but I bet noone would make the right guesses...
(well... I haven't copied anything... I just took my inspirations)

Sheyla's early design was "inspired" by Saber from Fate/Stay Night.
(blonde with green eyes ^^)
But as you can easily tell, despite being inspired by Saber,
Sheyla doesn't have much in common with her.
Neither looks nor personality wise.
Crescentia didn't change anything on Sheyla, everything is still as it used to be.
(I almost forgot to mention that Sheyla also used to have a different name,
but... lets not talk about it now)

Neamera went through so many changes, that I can't exactly say that she's being inspired by any character in particular.
"Originally" her hair had a 'wet-look', which I've seen on some character from the series "Claymore", but despite the wet-look I don't recall any other similarities.
And when Crescentia took over all the characters,
she got rid of the wet-look in Neameras hair.

Verdani, is perhaps the most interesting of the 3.
Having blonde "spiky" hair might resemble Cloud, I agree on that one.
But what else? (well, I don't see anything else they have in common)
The character that inspired me for Verdani, was "Karura" from Utawarerumono.
In the early design stages Verdani had similar hair, but this changed over time.
(Her name changed too! I used to call Verdani "Athene" (just like Athena, but with E) back in the old days)
While other characters inherited no personal traits or abilities from the characters that were the source of inspiration, Verdani did in fact inherit one thing from Karura.
And that's her super-human strength.

Yes, Verdani doesn't have any particular super-human abilities in Paperheads.
(it's a spin-off of the yet untold "original story")
But originally she can easily break other peoples bones, toss giant rocks around etc,
and her sword strikes are absolutely deadly.
(mainly because her legendary sword doesn't break and it has the ability to slice through literally anything in an instant, because of it's magical capabilities... but lets spare the details)

If you look at her now, she doesn't have anything in common with Karura regarding her looks.
Only the "super-human" strength, but well... if you put it that way, there are maybe several hundred other anime-characters that share this trait with her.
(Anyway, Karura was originally the source of inspiration for Verdani)

When Crescentia took her, she gave Verdani the spiky hair she has now, which fits her nicely.

Verdani and Sheylas old designs - drawn by Wolfenstahl

Sometimes I regret that I've started with a "spin-off" game...
rather than starting with the true story.
The fast as lightning assassin Sheyla, the skilled (and sadistic) ninja Neamera,
and the black knight (with super-human strength) Verdani,
are all central characters of it.
(yup, Geisterhands Sheyla is one of the many reincarnations of her, but it's still the real Sheyla and the real story)

To be honest, I'm tempted to write a whole bunch of text about Sheyla, Neamera and Verdani.
But I don't want to do any spoilers...
And more importantly, I don't know if people would read all of that text anyway.
Well, lets leave it that way for the time being.

So as you can see, no gender bender (no gender swap either), no Final Fantasy 7 or Devil May Cry.
Instead Fate/Stay Night, Utawarerumono and Claymore, I guess?
(well, it's just inspirations anyway, but I think it's interesting nonetheless)
In the end they are all "original characters" (OC's for short), and of course similarities to other games, anime series etc. will always be present, since it's hard to make a character noone has ever seen before.

And yup, I don't care if the tags on e-hentai stay "messed up" or if someone fixes them.
I think it's fine the way it is... because lots of people look for final fantasy stuff,
so the gallery gets more views lol jk
(well if someone wants to fix it, I appreciate it, but it's really not important)

Yes I mentioned a lot that Paperhead is a "spin-off", of the original Wolfenstahl-Universe.
And the work on Geisterhand resumes more or less smoothly.

As this case is resolved, I want to thank all the people who helped to correct the tags.
Thank you very very much!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Geisterhands heroine: Sheyla

Today I wanted to tell you guys (and girls) something about Sheyla,
the main heroine of "Geisterhand".

Geisterhand is german and means "ghost hand" in english.
And yup, it's the name of our second game.

Unlike Paperheads which was a spin-off, Geisterhand is the real thing.
Uhm... maybe I should explain this a bit more in detail.
While Paperheads featured some of the characters you might see in future games of us,
they were almost all out-of-character in Paperheads.

For example:
Verdani wouldn't dress herself like she did in Paperheads.
(originally she doesn't even like makeup)
Also Neamera would never even want to be the boss of such an organization.
While Chao wouldn't work together with Neamera,
and Ledun is "originally" some guy that transforms into a werewolf.
Furthermore the world of Paperheads has nothing to do with the "original story",
or the world the original story takes place in.
(in Paperheads all the characters had been depicted as "normal" humans,
but in the original story all of them are not regular human beings)

That in mind, lets get to the core.


Geisterhand plays in a world similar to ours,
were demons and monsters appear occasionally.
The story takes place in a modern world,
similar to our world as it is right now.

The main character 'Sheyla', isn't an everyday human being.
Aside from firing regular bullets,
she's also able to focus soul-power into her bullets.
This way she's able to fire strong shots with special properties.
(yes, you can view this as "magic", though I refer to it as "soul-power" (SP),
basically I guess it's the same as MP, Mana, whatever you want to call it)
After defeating the bosses she absorbs their powers,
in order to be able to use a new type of charged shot.

Sheyla is really swift and agile,
in fact she's one of the fastest beings on earth.
She accomplishes this by using soul-power to boost her movement (and the speed of her bullets), though she can only keep this up for short periodes of time.
If she uses this ability, her senses are also sharpened to keep up with her movement speed.
The bullet time/time alter mode shows this by reducing the speed of everything except Sheyla and her bullets by 50%.
This means that she's able to move twice as fast as normally possible.
(as well as shooting twice as often,
in the same period of time that the enemies experience)

What's not directly shown in the game:
Sheyla is a trained and experienced assassin,
and she's mainly working as an agent for the government.
Taking on risky jobs is pretty normal for her,
as well as killing all sorts of opponents, including demons and monsters.
Though being send onto a monster infested island is a completely new experience for her.

Sheyla is a pretty sweet girl, naturally friendly and cheerful.
(though beware, some of this is only faked, since well... she's an assassin,
and being "underestimated" is always good)

She's really brave, though she's not that self-confident.
Wait what? Brave but not that self-confident?
How does that work out?

Well, view it like this:
She tends to be brave, but she knows her limits.
Especially because she's an assassin, she likes to pick her enemies off guard,
or surprise them with her swift movement.
If she somehow fails, she's tending to escape quickly.
She likes to pick fights with strong enemies,
but she's not dumb enough to keep on fighting when she's at a clear disadvantage.
Hence she's kinda brave, but not too confident in her skills in a head-on engagement.
Well, since she's a woman she has a disadvantage in strength against most enemies anyway.
At any rate, she knows what she's doing,
and she's being successful the way she's doing things.

If you've got any questions about her, feel free to ask.

On a side note:
Sheyla is the very first character I ever created myself, this happened more than 8 years ago.
I've also used to draw her myself, but currently Crescentia is drawing her.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Small status report

The last 2 weeks we made no real progress,
since Crescentias notebook broke down and it had to be repaired.
Well, everything is fixed now.
Since we do backups of everything on a regular basis, nothing bad happened.
It's just that no graphics had been made during this period.

We also decided to not do any hentai animations for the bosses,
because the character sprites are way too small.
You can't even see anything specific on them...
so creating those sprites is just wasted energy I guess?
(well, maybe for some people it's still good despite being such small sprites, but it's hard to satisfy everyone without making compromises, and we rather invest our working time into something else)

Since we're short at least 2 weeks, we decided to cut down from 15 to 13 CG scenes.
(well, we want to get it done as soon as possible, while being as good as possible, and I doubt that those 2 scenes would make a big difference in game quality, but it allows us to finish the game in less time)

Well I'm a bit clueless about the CG scenes narrative as well.
So it's better if I only have to come up with scenes for 13 instead of 15 CG scenes.

I guess I should try to explain this a bit more detailed:
I don't know if my CG scene texts are good enough, and I find it especially difficult to write non-repetitive text, since well... it mostly happens the same.
The biggest difference is that on each CG a different enemy has sex with the heroine.
And while on some CG scenes she enjoys it, on others she doesn't.
It's not that it's the same text all the time, but you could say that there is a similar feel to it.
At least that's what one of the testplayers told me, and I think she's got a point.

Well... it's always:
Heroine loses --> gets captured --> gets fucked etc.
Since the monsters mostly can't talk, there isn't that much room for dialoge.
(it's mostly just Sheyla saying something or thinking)

The biggest thing I learned out of this is, that in future games,
I'll do the CG scenes more as part of the story, so I can avoid this repetitive feeling.
E.g. if the heroine has to rescue some girls from slave traders,
and she fails, she gets sold as a slave herself etc.
That way the CG scenes narrative, as well as dialoge during CG scenes, isn't repeating itself.
Because it's not just being fucked, it's also happening something else, at least in theory.

But of course this means, that doing one CG scene per enemy isn't quite working out.
(it's more of a "one CG scene per stage" then, well... this cancels out the need to lose all the time, so the player just has to lose once to get the CG and then he/she can concentrate on winning the stage)

It's just an idea right now, and I'll have to think more about it.
At any rate, this only matters for future games.
(the current game is fully planned out and it's on it's way to completion)

Good news is, that we found someone who is supporting us by doing music for the game.
I can't share that many details yet, but I'll give out some information as soon as possible.
So I guess it's not that long until the demo will be released.
(and yes, we suck at doing music ourselves... we completely wasted our time, but well... you never know unless you try)

Originally I wanted to write about the improvements I made to the game while Crescentia's notebook was being repaired.
But this post is already too long.

Well, I'll do that some other time.
Tomorrow, or maybe in the next couple days I'll write an article about the heroine.
And yup, I'll also post a nice artwork of her which is NOT in the game.
(well... it actually is... but in the game it doesn't have all the colors it originally had, so the version of the artwork I'll post here is better than the one in the game, because it has full color instead of being yellowish)